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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mauritius, only African state party to Budapest Convention on Cybercrime

The East African country of Mauritius is the only nation from the continent that has acceded and is a state party to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, reports ITRealms.

For any country to be a state party to an international convention or treaty, such a country or members state must have completed the laid down accession processes.

Accession, experts told ITRealms, is an act by which a State signifies agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. It has the same legal effect as ratification, but is not preceded by an act of signature. The formal procedure for accession varies according to the national legislative requirements of the State.

The instrument of accession, ITRealms gathered, is a formal sealed letter referring to the decision and signed by the State’s responsible authority, is prepared and deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York or its equivalent of such a convention.

The Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, ITRealms gathered, is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.

It was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France since 2001 with the active participation of the Council of Europe's observer states Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

The Convention, ITRealms reports, entered enforcement phase on 1 July 2004 and as of March 2016, had 49 states which have ratified the convention, while a further six states had signed the convention but not ratified it.

Head, Cybercrime Division, Council of Europe, Mr. Alexander Seger confirmed this to ITRealms in an exclusive chat, declaring that “Mauritius has acceded and is a Party.”

He also said Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, stands out among equal for this remarkable position on cybercrime.

Mr. Seger, who doubles as the Executive Secretary, Cybercrime Convention Committee (T-CY) told ITRealms that invitation has been extended to three countries in Africa, including Senegal, Ghana and Morroco to accede to the convention on cybercrime.

“Senegal, Ghana and Morocco have been invited to accede but have not yet completed the accession process and are thus not Parties yet,” he declared.

Mr. Seger acknowledged that South Africa participated in the negotiation of the treaty and has signed the Convention and its Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism but has not yet ratified these. South Africa, hence is not yet a Party.


He disclosed that given the commitment of these States to implement the Budapest Convention they are also priority countries for capacity building.

Remmy Nweke/ED,Ops
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